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Art Licensing by artist Joan Beiriger: I'm happy to share art licensing info but please
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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Art Licensing: Marketing Art Outside-the-box

Artists have heard and probably use the staid-and-true methods of marketing their art to gain visibility such as displaying their art on their website, exhibiting at tradeshows, sending out press releases, advertising in trade publications, having a blog and other social media such as Facebook, twitter. The problem is that although these are important and works an artist needs to market also so that her/his art stand out from the competition. The reason is manufacturers are bombarded with submissions from thousands of artists with outstanding art and an artist can get lost in the crowd unless she/he can somehow make an impression.

An astonishing example on making an impression and marketing outside-the-box is illustrated by Johanna Basford. She is a United Kingdom illustrator that creates intricate hand drawn ink illustrations. She set her sights on having her Christmas illustrations placed on UK Starbucks paper cups. She decided to market outside-the-box by bombarding Starbucks with Starbuck cups decorated with her art on it. Her story is an amazing journey of a dream, VERY hard work, persistence, and not giving up. And Johanna prevailed. After 18 months she got a deal! BUT it was not to create art for cups (yet) but to create wall paper for Starbuck's London Vigo Street store in time for the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Read Johanna's story on her blog "Starbucks 16 April 2012" and view pictures of her impressive presentation and art that she sent to Starbuck. She also inspired her blog readers so much that they got involved in her mission. Besides using Tweeter and Facebook to give a thumbs-up, they wrote letters to Starbucks headquarters and left customized Christmas Cups on UK Starbucks tables. Now THAT is marketing "outside-the-box" !!!

Observation: Notice the designs, art styles, and color or lack of in the art shown in the above links. These are very different than designs found on most products in the US. Artists that have a similar art style and color pallet, might consider approaching UK manufacturers with their art.

Read the following articles for suggestions on marketing outside-the-box:

• "Interesting Example of Out-of-the Box Marketing Ideas"

• "50 Out of the Box Marketing Ideas for Small Business"

• "18 Tips To Bring Visitors To Your Artist Website"

• "Marketing Outside-the-box"

Thank you artist and friend Ellie Fidler for sending me the links to the blog posts about Johanna Basford and Jessica Hogarth. You gave me the inspiration to write this article :)

This article was updated 7/17/18.
Comments are welcomed. Enter them in the below comment section.


  1. Thank you for this site. I really learn something.
    So lovely. Congratulations to a job well done.

    EPSON Premium Glossy Photo Paper

  2. As always, Joan, another newsworthy article from your blog - thanks!